Sunday, July 05, 2009

5 Best Fights of 2009 (So far)

Originally posted on

Martin Kampmann vs. Carlos Condit
UFC Fight Night 18, April 1, Nashville, Tenn.

After the WEC welterweight division fizzled out, thanks in large part to his own dominance, Condit packed his bags and entered the UFC, already regarded as a top contender. That status was put to the test, literally, from the opening bell, as Condit was matched with Xtreme Couture virtuoso Kampmann. With both men having a reputation for offensive versatility, it did not take long for them to back up their credentials; they went for broke on the feet, mat and clinch. While Condit scored his points with long-range striking and fluid guard work, Kampmann went blue-collar by staying inside Condit’s reach with constant flurries and takedowns.

After splitting the first two rounds, the third came down to a battle of wills, as cardio was in short supply. Struggling to find openings on the feet, Kampmann filled his lungs, lunged forward and delivered the takedown he needed. In between avoiding Condit’s notoriously shifty guard work, Kampmann managed to sneak in some highlight reel-worthy strikes and win over the judges. While the court of public opinion remains split, there was no arguing that the night gave rise to not just one, but two, welterweight stars.

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